FEEDBACK – Intersessionals on the Mine Ban Treaty: an important work between the meetings of states parties | June 28, 2021
Under the Dutch Presidency, on 22-24 June we have joined States, International Organizations and mine action operators for the Intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban treaty where we have called for continuous commitment to respect and implement victim assistance obligations, as well as a clear plan to finish the job and get a mine free […]
Under the Dutch Presidency, on 22-24 June we have joined States, International Organizations and mine action operators for the Intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban treaty where we have called for continuous commitment to respect and implement victim assistance obligations, as well as a clear plan to finish the job and get a mine free world by 2025.
The yearly intersessional meetings on the Mine Ban Treaty were held online from 22nd to 24th June 2021 under the presidency of the Netherlands. At the beginning of the meeting, Ambassador Robbert Jan Gabriëlse already made clear how important and also dangerous the task of mine action is.
When will we get to see a world free of mines?
The States parties were reminded in different sessions of the meeting how much is still to be done to reach a world free of mines by 2025. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines made very clear that deadline extensions are requested too often, by too many States Parties. Until 2021, already 90 extensions were requested by some 40 States Parties over the past 14 years. Something that was meant to be an exception became a norm.
ICBL’s appeal was strong and clear:
It is up to you, States Parties, whether we get to see a world free of mines in our lifetime, or not.”
HI inputs on effective and inclusive support for affected people
Once again, HI together with other civil society organisations made clear that mine free does not mean victim free – and that a lot remains to be done to fulfil the Treaty obligations to support all survivors, affected families and communities effectively. The intersessional meetings are a chance to exchange constructively on a working level on important tasks of implementing the Mine Ban Treaty. Thematic sessions and a number of insightful side events were organised, and HI staff from both headquarters and country programs contributed to several of these occasions.
In two side events on the first day of the meeting, HI inclusion advisors from Afghanistan and Middle East shared their experience. The first side event organized by the LandMineFree25 Campaign saw the participation of Samiulhaq Sami to reflect on how the mine action sector can contribute to social and economic inclusion for men and women, with and without disabilities, including survivors as well as other persons with similar priorities. While the second side event organized by the ICRC saw the participation of Marlee Quinn to discuss tangible solutions to make humanitarian mine action more inclusive.
A key claim of HI is the meaningful participation of survivors, families of those killed and injured and affected communities’ representatives in all implementation tasks. One of the important regional partners is the Latin American Network of survivors that organized another side event to share analysis and reflections on good practices in victim assistance and armed violence reduction in the Latin American region. The event benefited from the experience of Anderson Henao, who’s shared how HI has cooperated with the network since the beginning.
The important aspects of Gender, Age and Disability
Another major claim is to mainstream Gender, Age, Disability and other diversity factors to make humanitarian mine action truly inclusive. HI has conveyed this message both during:
- the thematic session “Integrating Gender and the Diverse Needs of Affected Communities in Operational Planning and Prioritization” with an input where Céline Cheng, Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Specialist,
- and the side event on “Gender and Diversity and the Oslo Action Plan: Status and Considerations”, with a presentation by Minla Nanthavong, from HI Laos to give an overview of the HI approach and present how our guiding principles are translated into more inclusive operational practices.
Finally, HI also delivered the statement of the Gender Working Group of the NGO networks. The fact that the opening of the intersessional meetings did not show a diverse selection of speakers, inclusive of the voices of survivors was an obvious example of the challenges regarding more diversity. HI and partners within the Gender Working Group call to increase efforts to make mine action in all fields of work inclusive of the perspectives of women, men, girls and boys.